Support you Deserve

We are a leading independent tax and business advisory services firm specializing in international tax consulting, transfer pricing, valuation and tax process innovation.

We operate throughout North America and the United Kingdom and cover over forty countries through strategic alliances with firms across the globe.

Accomplished Professionals

Our team of highly-experienced professionals consists of former Big 4 tax specialists, economists, attorneys, CPAs and MBAs, each with decades of experience delivering tax, transfer pricing, valuation and tax innovation services.

Our senior professionals are directly engaged in the work we deliver to our clients - unlike many large firms that employ a “leverage model” relying on less experienced personnel to do most of the work.

Delivering Value to Our Clients

Our clients include private and public companies ranging from emerging businesses to Fortune 50 companies. They include U.S. and non-U.S. based multinationals operating in a wide array of industries, including industrial manufacturing and distribution, aerospace, food processing and distribution, agriculture, medical products manufacturing and distribution and financial services.

Our clients seek responsive, collaborative professionals who deliver services efficiently and cost effectively. We willingly share our knowledge and insights to help our clients understand the technical issues and enhance their ability to make informed, strategic decisions with confidence.

Dutch State Aid: Starbucks update

By Richard Slimmen
Posted: December 02, 2015

On 21 October 2015 the European Commission declared that Luxembourg and the Netherlands have granted selective tax advantages to Fiat and Starbucks, respectively. These practices are illegal under EU State Aid rules.

The Dutch government has responded last Friday (27 November 2015) to the said violation stating that it fully supports the fight against tax avoidance, that it however is of the opinion that no State Aid was involved and that it greatly values its practice of offering tax certainty in advance. The Dutch government will therefore appeal the decision of the European Commission.

Three (English) press releases were made by the Dutch government last week:

The summary reveal several statements made by the European Commission regarding the Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) but does not provide a proper transfer pricing analysis on why the APA was not at arm’s length.

For example, statements include:

…”do not fulfil the arm’s length principle. More specifically, this concerns:

  • the choice to apply the transactional net margin method (TNMM) in order to forecast a taxable profit, while the OECD guidelines and the Transfer Pricing Decree show a preference for the Comparable Uncontrolled Price Method (CUP);
  • if the CUP was applied, then the taxable profit of SMBV would be substantially higher …”

While the CUP may be a preferred method, it is widely known among TP professionals that it is rarely possible to find a proper CUP, while the TNMM is by far the most applied TP method. The summary does not provide any insight into the considerations that have led to the recognition of a CUP and this also applies to other statements made by the European Commission. It will be interesting to see what detailed response the Dutch government will get from the European Commission in this respect.

It remains unclear as to how the appeal of the Dutch Tax Authorities (DTA) will turn out but some press releases indicate that the DTA believe the European Commission does not convincingly demonstrate DTA’s direct deviation from the statutory regulations or that state aid was provided.

The Dutch Tax Authorities further indicate that they are taking action to step up supervision of financial service companies, current APAs and Advance Tax Rulings (ATRs), and increase transparency in the context of the EU Code of Conduct to counter international tax avoidance.

By: Richard Slimmen

Richard Slimmen
Managing Director
M: + 31 6 50 88 94 37
Media Contact
Quantera Global Corporate Communications Office
Kurt Urbanozo

What Others Say

"...strong technical expertise, yet they are innovative and always bringing us new insights."

"...great team players, good friends and we trust them...that's big for us."

"...very genuine, very focused and look beyond the politics and conflicts...that's a rare thing these days."

"...good communicators and they built a strong rapport, early on."

"It's rare to find a team that always looks at the bigger picture, what's best for the client and the relationship...and WTP is truly of that mindset."